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Reports on Progress in Physics

David McGloin
It is perhaps surprising that something as fragile as a microscopic droplet could possibly form a laser. In this article we will review some of the underpinning physics as to how this might be possible, and then examine the state of the art in the field. The technology to create and manipulate droplets will be examined, as will the different classes of droplet lasers. We will discuss the rapidly developing field of droplet biolasers and explore how droplet lasers could give rise to new bio and chemical sensing and analysis...
February 20, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Ruoshi Yuan, Xiaomei Zhu, Gaowei Wang, Site Li, Ping Ao
Cancer is a complex disease: its pathology cannot be properly understood in terms of independent players-genes, proteins, molecular pathways, or their simple combinations. This is similar to many-body physics of a condensed phase that many important properties are not determined by a single atom or molecule. The rapidly accumulating large 'omics' data also require a new mechanistic and global underpinning to organize for rationalizing cancer complexity. A unifying and quantitative theory was proposed by some of the present authors that cancer is a robust state formed by the endogenous molecular-cellular network, which is evolutionarily built for the developmental processes and physiological functions...
February 17, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Laura H Greene, Joe Thompson, Jörg Schmalian
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 10, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Wei Wang, Ming Tang, H Eugene Stanley, Lidia A Braunstein
Models of epidemic spreading on complex networks have attracted great attention among researchers in physics, mathematics, and epidemiology due to their success in predicting and controlling scenarios of epidemic spreading in real-world scenarios. To understand the interplay between epidemic spreading and the topology of a contact network, several outstanding theoretical approaches have been developed. An accurate theoretical approach describing the spreading dynamics must take both the network topology and dynamical correlations into consideration at the expense of increasing the complexity of the equations...
February 8, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Francesco Monticone, Andrea Alù
The field of metamaterials has opened landscapes of possibilities in basic science, and a paradigm shift in the way we think about and design emergent material properties. In many scenarios, metamaterial concepts have helped overcome long-held scientific challenges, such as the absence of optical magnetism and the limits imposed by diffraction in optical imaging. As the potential of metamaterials, as well as their limitations, become clearer, these advances in basic science have started to make an impact on several applications in different areas, with far-reaching implications for many scientific and engineering fields...
February 6, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Satoshi Nakamura, Hiroyuki Kamano, Yoshinari Hayato, Masanori Hirai, Wataru Horiuchi, Shunzo Kumano, Tomoya Murata, Koichi Saito, Makoto Sakuda, Toru Sato, Yasuyuki Suzuki
A precise description of neutrino-nucleus reactions will play a key role in addressing fundamental questions such as the leptonic CP violation and the neutrino mass hierarchy through analyzing data from next-generation neutrino oscillation experiments. The neutrino energy relevant to the neutrino-nucleus reactions spans a broad range and, accordingly, the dominant reaction mechanism varies across the energy region from quasi-elastic scattering through nucleon resonance excitations to deep inelastic scattering...
February 6, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Yue Zheng, W J Chen
Topological defects in condense matters are gathering intensive attention due to their important roles in phase transition and fascinating characteristics. Among the various matters, ferroics which possess a switchable physical characteristic and form domain structures, are ideal systems to form topological defects. In particular, a special class of topological defects-vortices-have been found exist commonly in ferroics. They often manifest themselves as singular regions where domains merge in large systems, or stabilize as novel order states instead of forming domain structures in small enough systems...
February 3, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Aleksander Stanislavsky, Karina Weron
The paper is devoted to recent advances in stochastic modeling of anomalous kinetic processes observed in dielectric materials which are prominent examples of disordered (complex) systems. Theoretical studies of dynamical properties of 'structures with variations' (Goldenfield and Kadanoff 1999 Science 284 87-9) require application of such mathematical tools-by means of which their random nature can be analyzed and, independently of the details distinguishing various systems (dipolar materials, glasses, semiconductors, liquid crystals, polymers, etc), the empirical universal kinetic patterns can be derived...
February 3, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Jonathan Engel, Javier Menendez
The nuclear matrix elements that govern the rate of neutrinoless double beta decay must be accurately calculated if experiments are to reach their full potential. Theorists have been working on the problem for a long time but have recently stepped up their efforts as ton-scale experiments have begun to look feasible. Here we review past and recent work on the matrix elements in a wide variety of nuclear models and discuss work that will be done in the near future. Ab initio nuclear-structure theory, which is developing rapidly, holds out hope of more accurate matrix elements with quantifiable error bars...
January 31, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
A Lohrmann, B C Johnson, J C McCallum, S Castelletto
This paper summarizes key findings in single-photon generation from deep level defects in silicon carbide (SiC) and highlights the significance of these individually addressable centers for emerging quantum applications. Single photon emission from various defect centers in both bulk and nanostructured SiC are discussed as well as their formation and possible integration into optical and electrical devices. The related measurement protocols, the building blocks of quantum communication and computation network architectures in solid state systems, are also summarized...
January 31, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Simone Napolitano, Emmanouil Glynos, Nicholas B Tito
When cooled or pressurized, polymer melts exhibit a tremendous reduction in molecular mobility. If the process is performed at a constant rate, the structural relaxation time of the liquid eventually exceeds the time allowed for equilibration. This brings the system out of equilibrium, and the liquid is operationally defined as a glass-a solid lacking long-range order. Despite almost 100 years of research on the (liquid/)glass transition, it is not yet clear which molecular mechanisms are responsible for the unique slow-down in molecular dynamics...
January 30, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Jiaxiang Tao, Yizeng Li, Dhruv K Vig, Sean X Sun
Under the microscope, eukaryotic animal cells can adopt a variety of different shapes and sizes. These cells also move and deform, and the physical mechanisms driving these movements and shape changes are important in fundamental cell biology, tissue mechanics, as well as disease biology. This article reviews some of the basic mechanical concepts in cells, emphasizing continuum mechanics description of cytoskeletal networks and hydrodynamic flows across the cell membrane. We discuss how cells can generate movement and shape changes by controlling mass fluxes at the cell boundary...
January 27, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
M Kenzelmann
Magnetism and superconductivity compete or interact in complex and intricate ways. Here we review the special case where novel magnetic phenomena appear due to superconductivity, but do not exist without it. Such states have recently been identified in unconventional superconductors. They are different from the mere coexistence of magnetic order and superconductivity in conventional superconductors, or from competing magnetic and superconducting phases in many materials. We describe the recent progress in the study of such exotic magnetic phases, and articulate the many open questions in this field...
January 23, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Kim Sneppen
This review emphasize aspects of biology that can be understood through repeated applications of simple causal rules. The selected topics include perspectives on gene regulation, phage lambda development, epigenetics, microbial ecology, as well as model approaches to diversity and punctuated equilibrium in evolution. Two outstanding features are repeatedly described. One is minimal rules to sustain specific states of a complex systems for a long time. The other is the collapse of such states and the subsequent dynamical cycle of situations that later return to new metastable states...
January 20, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Denis L Nika, Alexander A Balandin
A discovery of the unusual thermal properties of graphene stimulated experimental, theoretical and computational research directed at understanding phonon transport and thermal conduction in two-dimensional material systems. We provide a critical review of recent results in the graphene thermal field focusing on phonon dispersion, specific heat, thermal conductivity, and comparison of different models and computational approaches. The correlation between the phonon spectrum in graphene-based materials and the heat conduction properties is analyzed in details...
January 20, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
S Khalil, S Moretti
We review the TeV scale B  -  L extension of the minimal supersymmetric standard model (BLSSM) where an inverse seesaw mechanism of light neutrino mass generation is naturally implemented and concentrate on its hallmark manifestations at the large hadron collider (LHC).
January 17, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
A P Mackenzie
Although they were first synthesized in chemistry laboratories nearly fifty years ago, the physical properties of the metals PdCoO2, PtCoO2 and PdCrO2 have only more recently been studied in detail. The delafossite structure contains triangular co-ordinated atomic layers, and electrical transport in the delafossite metals is strongly 2D. Their most notable feature is their in-plane conductivity, which is amazingly high for oxide metals. At room temperature, the conductivity of non-magnetic PdCoO2 and PtCoO2 is higher per carrier than those of any alkali metal and even the most conductive elements, copper and silver...
January 12, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
M Smidman, M B Salamon, H Q Yuan, D F Agterberg
In non-centrosymmetric superconductors, where the crystal structure lacks a centre of inversion, parity is no longer a good quantum number and an electronic antisymmetric spin-orbit coupling (ASOC) is allowed to exist by symmetry. If this ASOC is sufficiently large, it has profound consequences on the superconducting state. For example, it generally leads to a superconducting pairing state which is a mixture of spin-singlet and spin-triplet components. The possibility of such novel pairing states, as well as the potential for observing a variety of unusual behaviors, led to intensive theoretical and experimental investigations...
January 10, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Arup K Chakraborty, John P Barton
Vaccination has saved more lives than any other medical procedure. Pathogens have now evolved that have not succumbed to vaccination using the empirical paradigms pioneered by Pasteur and Jenner. Vaccine design strategies that are based on a mechanistic understanding of the pertinent immunology and virology are required to confront and eliminate these scourges. In this perspective, we describe just a few examples of work aimed to achieve this goal by bringing together approaches from statistical physics with biology and clinical research...
January 6, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Marcelo F Ciappina, J Perez-Hernandez, Alexandra Landsman, William Okell, Sergey Zherebtsov, Benjamin Förg, Johannes Schötz, Lennart Seiffert, Thomas Fennel, Tahir Shaaran, Tomas Zimmermann, Alexis Chacón, Roland Guichard, Amelle Zair, John Tisch, J Marangos, Tobias Witting, Avi Braun, Stefan Maier, Luis Roso, Michael Krüger, Peter Hommelhoff, Matthias Kling, Ferenc Krausz, Maciej Lewenstein
Recently two emerging areas of research, attosecond and nanoscale physics, have started to come together. Attosecond physics deals with phenomena occurring when ultrashort laser pulses, with duration on the femto- and sub-femtosecond time scales, interact with atoms, molecules or solids. The laser-induced electron dynamics occurs natively on a timescale down to a few hundred or even tens of attoseconds, which is comparable with the optical field. For comparison, the revolution of an electron on a 1s orbital of a hydrogen atom is 152 as...
January 6, 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
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